Where the Rain is born  – Anita Nair  #BookReview

Where the Rain is born – Anita Nair #BookReview

Rain is synonymous with Kerala.  As a Malayalee (person from Kerala),  I naturally love the monsoon rains.  The title itself drew me to the book.  This is not just one book.  It has many books within it.  The book is a mixture of 34 fictional stories, poems, non-fiction,  essays,  POVs from writers in Kerala,  or writers writing about Kerala.  Also, all the stories are not about rain.

The book starts off with the first story which tells us about where the rain is born.  This short non-fiction account is taken from the book ‘Chasing the Monsoon’ written by journalist and travel-writer Alexander Frater.   He recounts how he witnessed the rain being born at the southern-most tip of Kerala.  He is at the Kovalam beach with a bunch of weathermen, journalists and other enthusiasts.  The south-western monsoon clouds make it’s first landing here and thus the rain is born.  This place Kovalam is just about 50 km from my hometown Varkala.  Thus we probably see the first monsoon rains in India and never even knew about it.

Next is a short fiction by Shashi Tharoor called ‘Charlis and I’.  I loved the way the author has woven the progress of the different castes through the various policies in Kerala.  But still, it is a simple, heartwarming story about a few boys.  His language is impeccable.  On a similar vein is the story ‘A village before time’ by V K Madhavan Kutty. Continue reading

Teaser Tuesday : 11-July

Teaser Tuesday : 11-July

Arundhati Roy’s The Ministry of Utmost Happiness has been getting mixed reviews.  And there are some reviews where the author is blasted,  but doesn’t look like the reviewer has read the book.  With the plethora of reviews giving all the details of the plot, characters, editing, fiction, non-fiction, anger,  nothing much is left to imagination.

I had read The God of Small Things (GOST) atleast a decade ago and I had forgotten how good Arundhati Roy, the writer is.  I was reading an excerpt of her story in the book ‘Where the Rain is Born’ and am amazed at her use of words.  She paints a vivid picture with her minimal words.  I think I should read this book again.  But here are a few lines for you to sample and decide on.  She writes so beautifully,  I have put in multiple lines.  It was difficult for me to choose the best lines. Continue reading

Lost     #FridayReflections #shortstory

Lost #FridayReflections #shortstory

Image courtesy : Pixabay.com

I felt the constriction in the chest.  It felt like dead weight on my throat. I couldn’t speak.  My  eyes widened but I couldn’t see.  It felt tight.  The tears still dry.

Not now.. not now.  Let me get home.

Thank God, today everyone is busy.  Even the receptionist who would otherwise have been just painting her nails.

I wish today was another day when I could have shut out everyone and cried?.

Roma had called frantically.  ‘Sumit is engaged,’ she said ‘and you did not tell me.  I thought you are still a couple.’ Continue reading

Never in My Name #NotInMyName

Never in My Name #NotInMyName

A Muslim friend of mine,  raved and ranted about the killing of 16-year-old Junaid in Delhi.  He forwarded a message which was spewing with hatred and accused all Hindus of being the killers.  This was not an illiterate or impulsive youth.  This is a perfectly sane, educated, middle-aged family man who is also a Doctor.  Where did this hate come from? We have spent years together sitting on the same bench as classmates and never hated each other.

There was no way I could think of comforting him.  But, it showed his deep insecurities living in a country in which he and his ancestors were born.  He was worrying about a future for his children who belong to this country.  Where should he go?  Who will comfort his fears?   When did it become ‘them’ and ‘us’?  Weren’t we the same?   Continue reading

Son of Shiva by Preetha Rajah Kannan #BookReview

Son of Shiva by Preetha Rajah Kannan #BookReview

This is the second book of Preetha Rajah Kannan I am reading.  I had loved Shiva in the City of Nectar.  The book and a few other blogs had inspired me to travel to Madurai during the summer vacations.  So, when Jaico Publishing asked me to review this book,  I was more than happy to take the offer.

The Hindu religion is full of stories.  In fact,  in today’s terms,  I would call it mythological fantasy.  Each story more fantastic than the other.  There are the numerous re-tellings,  and local village stories pertaining to the Gods.  There is so much of religious literature in local languages that we the English readers are missing it.  So,  I am glad that Preetha has compiled a treasure trove of stories based upon the Tamil writings primarily from the book Sri Kandhapuranam written by Dr. Akila Sivaraman and other sources.  So,  is this a translation?  Not really.   The stories are put together following a sequence of events.  Back stories are highlighted as and when a character is touched upon.   Continue reading